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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 12:29 pm
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New guy on the board! I'm interested in buying a folding kayak. I haven't done too much kayaking before but I want one for fitness and hopefully a bit of fishing too. My In-Laws have a cabin on a lake and I've been itching to get on the lake with a fast boat. Looks like the good folding boats are pricy so if anyone can let me know what brands to look for in the used category I'd appreciate it.

Cheers,

Greg


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 3:54 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
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Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
Welcome aboard.

If you are in BC (Vancouver area?), then the obvious brand for you to look out for is Feathercraft.

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Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 12:29 pm
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Thanks,

I'll look them up as I'll be in Vancouver next month.


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 7:33 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
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Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
If you get in touch with Feathercraft beforehand and drop in at a time there are not busy, they may be able to arrange for you to take one of their demo boats out on the water right at their factory/company HQ there on Granville Island, which is just steps from a launch ramp on False Creek inlet of Vancouver Harbor. I did so when I was visiting on vacation back in 2009, paddling for over an hour with a Wisper kayak and Klatwa paddle that they loaned me (i brought paddling clothes with me) -- the test outing sealed the deal and I bought a Wisper when I got back from the trip.

Be sure your budget can afford a Feathercraft before you try one, because the performance, product quality and aesthetics may spoil you for many (though not all) cheaper boats.

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Pakboat Puffin 12
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 11:28 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:05 pm
Posts: 1398
Location: South Salem, NY
Welcome, Icantswim.

The words Fast and folding kayak aren't too often in the same sentence... A hard shell will be faster in just about every side by side comparison of equivalent models (much to our chagrin)... just so you know. Folding boats flex which robs energy, like bikes with a lot of suspension. Some don't flex much, and are quite quick and comfortably paddled at a good pace, but the same size boat in hard-shell form is probably still quicker until you get into rough water. This is where the folding boat will generally excel... when the hardshell is struggling to stay upright the folders will just keep cruising (grand generalization but probably true)... but these are all topics for other threads.

Do some reading about the different boats then ask some more specific questions. Or find one for sale and ask away. Klepper, Folbot, Feathercraft, are the most commonly found used folding boats, probably in that order.

Good luck.

Dennis

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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 11:40 am 
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Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 12:29 pm
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Good advice, I think that I'll take some time to learn more about folding boats before I start cruising the for sale sections!




Cheers,

Greg


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 2:04 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
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Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
Also, boats that are good for fishing (where you want a wide and stable platform) have the opposite characteristics of what you need for speed. A faster boat will have a narrower beam (width) and a more vee-shaped hull. The wide flat hull of a fishing craft is not conducive to fast forward movement. You will need to decide which factors are most important to your major use of the boat. You may also want to consider folding canoes like Pakboat and Ally's models, though they are more costly than the kayaks in general.

Feathercraft makes an excellent inflatable/frame hybrid sit on top called the Java, but besides being pricey, using an open boat in the colder waters of your region would have limitations.

If you want to do both fishing and fitness paddling, it might be more realistic to consider having two boats. Some of the cheaper and more raft-like inflatables, like the Advanced Elements models, would be fine for fishing, while you would want something longer and narrower with better body contact for distance work outs.

You will get a workout pushing a competent folder at a good clip. I can keep up with most people (using hardshells boats) that I paddle with in my Wisper but I have to work a little harder than they do on flat water. They can paddle, then glide a bit but I have to keep up a pretty steady cadence. If I am with those same folks but in my Easky plastic kayak or my 18' skin on frame I can outpace the group with little effort. As has been mentioned, I exert less effort than the hardboaters in rough water because the boat isn't as squirrelly as a hardshell in those conditions. There are tradeoffs but the convenience and lightness of folders makes up for them.

You are on the right track, trying to learn as much about folder options and kayaks in general before plunging in. I dove in rather blindly myself by impulse buying a boat 14 years ago, but fortunately it was a Feathercraft and a good one to start with. Like many aficionados, I've gone through several models since and am on my 6th folder now. They do tend to keep a higher ratio of value when sold as used than hardshell kayaks, as long as they are well maintained. The biggest problem with badly kept used boats is frame corrosion. If the frame assemblies (aluminum poles) are not properly lubricated when put together and then rinsed out after use in salt water and periodically dismantled, they can weld together and you no longer have a kayak that can be broken down and packed.

It's usually pretty hard to find vendors where you can test paddle a folder (Feathercraft's factory being one exception). But if you have a chance to go to "demo days" by any outfitter to try any sort of kayak it is instructive to do so if you are relatively new to the sport. Finding out first hand how different lengths, widths and hull shapes of boats feel in the water will help steer you towards folder models that will suit your usage.

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Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 5:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 12:29 pm
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Thanks for the detailed explanation! I'm leaning more toward fitness than fishing right now but its good to know the limitations of the different styles of kayaks out there. I'll try to get down to Vancouver for a Feathercraft demo day since its only a 4 hour drive from where I live. Is there a rule of thumb for boat length vs speed?


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 6:56 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:10 pm
Posts: 163
Welcome Icantswim! Folding kayaks are more work [assembly and maintenance] than a hardshell boat to be sure, but that can be a labor of love. Assembling a boat from the contents of a couple of pieces of luggage produces a certain satisfaction. Different boats are good for different purposes. Even within the Folbot line, the one with which I am the most familiar, you'll find lengths from 10' [Citiboat] to 18' [some very old models]. Most are beamy models [not so fast but stable] while one is quite sleek [the Cooper]. As KerryOnKayaks said, test paddling various brands and models will not be easy. For the most part it will be one at a time visiting individual sellers of used boats. Still, you can poke around the various brand-specific forums here to get an idea about the boats and ask questions of those of us who own them. Good luck!

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